Lepidoptera: The Death of the Moth

Essay 'The Death of the Moth' by Virginia Woolf. Moth etchings by Sarah Horowitz.
Grey handmade paper by Katie MacGregor. Size 11 x 7.5" (11 x 15" open), edition of 40. 2014
Book SOLD OUT; individual etchings are available.

I spent the winter of 2014 with a magnification visor carefully drawing onto copper the delicate specimens loaned to me by the Oregon State Arthropod Collection in Corvallis, Oregon. Their curator Christopher Marshall and their lepidoptera specialist Paul Hammond gave me a crash course in entomology collections, storage and handling, preserving, and the moths themselves. The etchings were printed in the spring on beautiful handmade and custom-colored paper made for this book by Katie MacGregor from Maine. Art Larson of Horton Tank Graphics in Hadley, Massachusetts printed the text in Spectrum types. Each limp vellum binding by Claudia Cohen is stamped on the front with a gold moth, and cased in a box. Thirty-two moth etchings, plus a thistle in the colophon, are accompanied by Virginia Woolf ’s non-fiction essay ‘The Death of the Moth’ in which she muses on the moth both as an insignificant creature and, as she says, “a tiny bead of pure life and decking it as lightly as possible with down and feathers”.

Special thanks to Catherine Hollis and her expertise on Virginia Woolf without whom this book would never have happened and to Michael Russem of Kat Ran Press for his depth of knowledge and finesse with typography.